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Old 10th September 2018, 21:31   #1
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Default No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

We have safety norms for two-wheelers in the form of compulsory helmets for riders and pillions (somewhat slack enforcement though in many cities towns and villages) as of now. The other passive safety features include the two RVM's, turn indicators, the saree guard and so on. Compulsory ABS is on the pipeline.

Three wheelers, other than the two RVM's and turn indicators do not have any other safety feature as OE by manufacturers. They don't require to as per the law.

The cars at present have quite a few OE compulsory safety features required under the law. Wearing seat belts for front and rear passengers (for rear passengers it is compulsory on National Highways as per a SC verdict in Rajseekaran versus Union of India (2014) and the Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan Committee on Road Safety Report, though the law enforcers appear ignorant in implementation). Scoring safety star ratings based on New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test norms including frontal and side impact tests , fitment of compulsory airbags, making safe crumple zones to protect the passenger cabin, ABS , seat-belt reminders, alert systems for speed beyond 80 kph, reverse parking sensors and manual override over the central locking system for emergencies are all in the pipeline and come October 2019 (October 2020, for existing car models) these changes will be compulsory. Most cars made for our market had a "ZERO" NCAP crash test rating, whereas the same cars exported to the Western markets scored 4 to 5 stars. Its shows the laxity on the part of our government and the consumers being taken for jolly good "KILLER" rides.

It is alarming that the government has not taken any cognisance of fitment of safety features on the three wheelers, which are people carriers for the nation. Upto 12 people are illegally packed in three wheelers, which crumple on impact, seriously injuring or killing the passengers in many cases. Many three wheelers carry school children, who are packed with their loaded school bags like sardines. A hit by a light four wheeler is sufficient to make the three wheeler roll over and crumple.

The three wheeler manufacturers are making merry and hardly care for passenger safety. It is almost a sellers market here, with minimal changes in the basic design of these "delicate, freak and unsafe, motorised trikes" on wheels. Manufacturers try to attract buyers with so called "improved" four stroke and diesel fuel efficient engines as of now.

It is high time that the government takes cognisance and cares for the safety of three wheeler passengers.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 10th September 2018 at 21:36.
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Old 11th September 2018, 00:09   #2
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

For some inexplicable reason, safety regulations are made only for private vehicles (two wheelers and cars). Commercial vehicles are exempt from almost all safety norms. But CVs account for majority of casualties on the road:

No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?-challenges-arising-rapid-growth-twowheelers-road-accident-deaths.jpg

In the above infographic, "Jeep" obviously means Trax/Sumo type vehicles that are used as Share Taxis on highways.

Last edited by smartcat : 11th September 2018 at 00:12.
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Old 11th September 2018, 11:17   #3
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

I think it won't be practical to enforce features like seat belt or N-CAP or crumple zone in the autorickshaws, which are meant to be low speed intra-city commute and a low cost, simply-built means of earning through self-employment.

We shall ban them from running outside the urban city limits and highways.

Autorickshaws themselves meet very few accidents but they cause many. So strict enforcement of road manners will help more than the safety features. The drivers / owners need to be patiently educated and convinced on traffic discipline.

Their leaders too need to be educated. I once went to one leader of the autorickshaw drivers, who was sitting on a "dharna" for their demands. I politely reminded him that many autorickshaws do not have working headlamps and they come from the wrong side. I suggested him to insist to his followers to get headlamps working. Instead of assuring me, he started defending that these are poor fellows etc. How much does a fuse or a headlamp bulb cost? Most of these drivers spend much more on their bidi, gutkha etc.

I have also seen well mannered gentlemen driving the autorickshaws with discipline. They are few, but not too few in my city. Neat and clean autorickshaw with driver looking matured and composed is what I prefer.

Last edited by Rahul Bhalgat : 11th September 2018 at 11:19.
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Old 11th September 2018, 11:42   #4
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
It is high time that the government takes cognisance and cares for the safety of three wheeler passengers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
We shall ban them from running outside the urban city limits and highways.
You learn to hate and live with with autos being in Bombay suburbs, the land of infinite autos, you see them zigzagging their way all over with scant regards to life and property. With no crumple zones, they will brush past your cars shiny painted bumper and leave a memo reading: "Autos rule the road".

The problem exists on multiple levels:
  1. Safety standards.
  2. Driving education/etiquette.
  3. Outdated design.
  4. Traffic rule enforcement.
  5. Vote bank politics.
  6. Civic facilities.
  7. Alternative transport.

At the outset, completely agree that all three wheeled transport should be subjected to a similar standard of safety norms as passenger cars like crumple zones, airbags, seat belts, elk test?, ABS etc etc.

However, #2-7 are just as important.

Even with proper safety standards, the auto drivers will still need proper driving training, follow rules.

Most importantly the government needs to build alternative facilities for transport and actively discourage auto usage. Either move them to tier 2 cities or completely eliminate them.

Unfortunately #5, i.e. the fear of losing votes stops all of above.

At some point the government needs to wake up and fix all of the above or better still eliminate autos all together.
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Old 11th September 2018, 11:45   #5
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Like I mentioned in another thread in this forum, I think the very contraption called the auto rickshaw should be banned. There is not much you can do to make them safer. They are but a 2 wheeler with an extra wheel and and an awning on top.

There are 4 wheelers like the Tata Ace Magic, Mahindra Supro/Jeeto etc, which, although not very much safer than the rickshaw, structurally atleast, are at least a lot more stable, handle more predictably and at least can be fitted with a few seat belts. These are extremely dangerous vehicles on the highway and should not be allowed beyond city limits.

Like discussed here, I have not seen a single truck or bus driver wearing a seat belt. None of the bus passengers are required to wear seat belts even if by some faint stroke of luck, the bus comes equipped with seat belts. Most buses don't even have proper doors and even if they have them, they are most of the time tied in the open condition. There is no end to the safety rules flouted by commercial vehicles.

All our rules and regulations, as far as automobiles are concerned, are for the regular car and 2 wheeler users like you and me who do not have a representation or a union and are always at the receiving end of thoughtless rules and regulations while the actual culprits do what they want to do with few restrictions affecting them.

Last edited by SCORPION : 11th September 2018 at 11:53. Reason: Corrected a typo
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Old 11th September 2018, 13:52   #6
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Yup. I remember arguing alongside with Mr.Scorpion on how inherently unsafe 3 wheelers are, on the accident pics thread. These vehicles need to be phased out and banned altogether. Their time has passed. Safer, yet nimble vehicles like the Bajaj Qute need to be brought in instead.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...ml#post4434302 (Pics: Accidents in India)

Quote:
As many others have by now opined, autorickshaws are inherently flawed. All 3 wheeled vehicles are flawed in terms of (in)stability first and foremost.

To belabor this point, Jeremy Clarkson rolled a 3-wheeled Reliant Robin so many times for our mirth. To refresh our memories, here's a clip of the said episode -



One of my earliest childhood memories is of a Bajaj auto being driven way too fast through our street in Chennai in the early '90s, only to roll over at the street corner. A passenger who was thrown out went into shock because of his injuries...it's something I'll never forget. The driver's foot was pinned by the toppled auto. In fact, now that I think about it - limbs getting pinned by toppled autorickshaws and people getting flung out are staple features of accidents involving autorickshaws. Other autorickshaw accidents over the years come to mind...

As far as alternatives are concerned, to add on to the ones mentioned by others, the upcoming Bajaj Qute seems to be a good and frugal option. It's a relatively stable 4-wheeled vehicle with covered doors, windows and adequate all-round visibility. No more tarpaulin on the sides when it rains.

Last edited by locusjag : 11th September 2018 at 13:53.
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Old 11th September 2018, 18:04   #7
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Reverberating with some of the earlier posts, I think this topic can be generalized to all commercial vehicles plying on our roads. Condition of state run buses, Absence of safety features as basic as emergency exits, Safety of our railways ... the list can go on but of all of them, the auto rickshaws can be the most vulnerable when it comes to safety.

Before becoming judgmental about auto rickshaws I think, we need to consider the role they play. If we look at the history, not very long back (70s may be) we used to have human pulled carts. Later some revolutionist political move uplifted them with cycle rickshaws (80s). The auto rickshaws are only an evolution of the cycle rickshaws. 3 decades gone since the auto rickshaws came, we still see hand driven carts and cycle rickshaws in many places of our country. The point I am trying to make is these carts cater to a section of our society that are greatly ignored. They cannot afford 3 Lakh on a four-wheeler and think of a fast enough payback from it.

Let me ask a question, how many of us would have noticed a two wheeler with four people riding on it. A father, a mother as pinion, a kid as sandwich and another toddler deep asleep above the fuel tank, forget the newborn hanging out of mothers grip. Considering the earning potential of an average Indian, affording a four wheeler and its monthly maintenance is still a distant dream. Contraptions such as Auto rickshaws IMO are bridging an essential gap.

Yes they are unsafe, but they have no choice they can afford for now. IMO Government should play an essential role here by urging car makers to design affordable four-wheelers may be provide tax benefits so that an average Indian can upgrade from carrying four people on a two wheeler, an auto-rickshaw driver can upgrade from the inherently unstable three wheeled design.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 11th September 2018 at 18:29. Reason: Grammar
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Old 11th September 2018, 18:10   #8
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Default re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

can this be the replacement for three wheelers?

Bajaj QUTE (Bajaj Qute quadricycle launch in H2, 2018)

Bajaj QUTE also undergone crash test.

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Old 12th September 2018, 11:11   #9
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
Yup. I remember arguing alongside with Mr.Scorpion on how inherently unsafe 3 wheelers are, on the accident pics thread. These vehicles need to be phased out and banned altogether. Their time has passed. Safer, yet nimble vehicles like the Bajaj Qute need to be brought in instead.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/road-...ml#post4434302 (Pics: Accidents in India)

Love Clarkson

On the other hand, the Reliant Robin is actually safer than the auto rickshaws here. It's got doors and a proper roof!
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Old 12th September 2018, 12:20   #10
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahul Bhalgat View Post
I think it won't be practical to enforce features like seat belt or N-CAP or crumple zone in the autorickshaws, which are meant to be low speed intra-city commute and a low cost, simply-built means of earning through self-employment.
I have seen three wheelers being driven in excess of 70 kmph on city streets - in the dead of night on Delhi's arterial roads. I think this is the crux of the problem. Why does the manufacturer not limit the max speed of the vehicle? The law does not require it - is the unfortunate answer.



Also an observation - three wheeler drivers have this really dangerous habit (bordering on insanity!) of making unannounced turns encouraged by the tiny turning radius - so they pull it off with aplomb - and damn the other motorway users!

Is it any wonder, that roll-overs are caused due to the inevitable broad-side collision and they die like flies?
One can't change the behavior of these ignoramuses - largely because they have no incentive to change their ways. Driving rules don't matter to them -even if enforced.
Why can't the manufacturer be told to install a proximity sensor (someone's near), and a Gyroscope sensor (idiot's making a turn!)- that will cut off the engine rendering it powerless ?.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Yes they are unsafe, but they have no choice they can afford for now. IMO Government should play an essential role here by urging car makers to design affordable four-wheelers may be provide tax benefits so that an average Indian can upgrade from carrying four people on a two wheeler, an auto-rickshaw driver can upgrade from the inherently unstable three wheeled design.

Adolf Hitler had mandated VW to design a people carrier. The Beetle is now legend.

Last edited by joybhowmik : 12th September 2018 at 12:27.
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Old 12th September 2018, 13:51   #11
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

A Bajaj Auto weighs about 348 kg and has about 10.1 BHP (17Nm torque ) and costs about 2.2L on road. It is a contraption and inherently not so stable. As these 3 wheelers are potential death traps, it is about time they are banned. There are worthy replacements with better engine capacity and relatively better safety features. Eg Tata ACE, Mahindra Jeeto if you want to keep the costs almost at the same level.

And our roads will be a lot safer without the autos doing a harakiri maneuver.
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Old 12th September 2018, 14:13   #12
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Three wheelers, other than the two RVM's and turn indicators do not have any other safety feature as OE by manufacturers. They don't require to as per the law.
The Indian method of incorporating safety and emissions standards is the Ctrl+c > Ctrl+v on paper method. When it comes to 4-wheelers and 2-wheelers, we are prompt to (brainlessly) talk about cars having 'brakes with brains' without understanding what that means. When it comes to 3-wheelers, there is no other nation in the First World where these killing machines are used (and therefore no published regulations either), and we are unable to copy-paste norms or regulations - and neither can we create our own.

So we would be happy to place 3-wheeler regulations under the Ministry of Health (Department of Population Control) rather than under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways - whether it be e-rickshaws or conventional auto-rickshaws.
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Old 12th September 2018, 15:41   #13
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

This is the very reason Bajaj is trying to bring the Qute. It can reasonably enhance some safety features replacing the auto rickshaw but yet keep the top speed lower due to small engine. Overall this new age auto rickshaw will have doors and seat belts.
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Old 12th September 2018, 20:53   #14
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

We cannot do without coal as a cheap fuel for power generation, being a growing economy and on the other hand having huge resources to last us at least 250 years as of now. Coal is a dirty fuel, but we will simply not be able to get over it and go for an alternative, as each alternative comes with a cost.

Similarly, we may also not be able to do without three wheelers as people's carriers, due to the fact that these are affordable for the buyers and users too. If there is an alternative with the four wheeled, light commercial vehicles (LCV's) and if the three wheelers are systematically phased out, it will be all the better and a good riddance !

If they are here to stay, a few basic safety features are quite essential, though these may add to the costs and the kerb weight of the three wheeler. To make the three wheelers safer, the bare minimum that the government and the manufacturers can do is to mandatorily build roll over cages on the body shell and fit ABS brakes on the two rear wheels at least.

At least two transverse and two longitudinal roll-over cages on the bodyshell need to be added. These could be constructed from reinforced sheet metal or a tougher alternative.

And fitment of ABS brakes will also aid safe braking.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 12th September 2018 at 20:55.
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Old 13th September 2018, 00:39   #15
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Default Re: No safety norms for 3-wheelers : Government napping or asleep?

I am not justifying anything but did anyone notice that three wheelers are causing only 5% of the causalities, whereas, 95% are caused by others. I have also seen that because their drivers know that they will tumble easily or there is no saving anyone in case of a serious crash they drive sanely. Just my opinion though.

Of course there should be safety measures but then it is all about price. Three wheelers provide employment to many. Now if you look in reverse, 'Safe' is out of reach and unsafe is cheap. If one were to build safety around everything things will get out of reach for many.
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